Connection problem

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Connection problem

Postby PM50 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:27 pm

Good afternoon

I have just joined this forum and hope someone will be able to offer a solution to my problem.

I have had the layout for 5= years now and it is nearly finished!!!

I have lai track that is ballasted and and landscaped etc.

However, when i run the trains they all stop at 1 particular section of the track. I have cleaned all the track thoroughly and indeed for some time it worked but no more. It appears tobe a connection between 2 tracks. My son-in-law used a special screwdriver and confirmed this.

It might be that all i would need to do is replace the track connection - but how do i do this without lifting up all the track to get to the correct piece for this to be done. At least half the track would have to be lifted and it never goes back properly again!!

Is there a way round this


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Re: Connection problem

Postby End2end » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:46 pm

Hi PM50 and welcome to the forum. :)
You can try soldering 2 pieces of wire to bridge the gap, 1 per rail. Drill a small hole next to the outside of the rail and feed the wire under the baseboard, coming up another drilled hole to the next piece of track and solder the wires at both ends to the ousite of the rail,bridging the gap and electrically connecting them.
Sort of like this...
I-------------------------------I <wire
============[GAP] ============ <Rail
============[GAP] ============ <Rail
I------------------------------I <wire
Paint the wires to hide them with track dirt. :idea:
Hope it helps.
"St Blazey's" - The progress and predicaments.
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Re: Connection problem

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:24 pm

Hi Paul and welcome to the forum. Is the gap in the track of your making, or has it always been there, but the trains won't now run on part of the route. What we need to help you out is a sketch of the track layout with the place where the connection from the controller is made (if you can see, or know where). You need some kind of circuit tester, or a multimeter with a 20V DC range, or a continuity tester, which is presumably what your son-in-law's magic screwdriver was. You can find a helpful guide to model railway electrics at Let us know if you need help attaching a picture of your layout plan. You'll find the attachment tab below the editing window.

John W
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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Re: Connection problem

Postby Dad-1 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:03 am

Hi Paul,

Welcome to the mad house.
Perhaps earlier membership may have helped with advice before, rather than after the event.

I would always suggest that EVERY piece of track has a connection to a power bus that runs around below the boards
and acts like a ring main. Using track joiners (Fishplates) even those permanently attached to one end of a rail as in
what we call Set-Track have to pass their current via a push fit at the other end. These push fittings can become non
conductive, particularly when adding ballast with a wet glue, or painting the rails a rusty colour.
Best to try and add additional power feeds to your dead section. Fine wire can be soldered to the outer edge of the
rails - NEVER the inner edge as that'll just catch all wheels trying to pass through.

By testing you can sometimes identify which rail is dead, almost never both rails, just one side. Then add that additional
power feed as required.

No doubt you'll soon fix it !!

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
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